Boyne Highlands freshly groomed. (Boyne)
Winter has arrived across the upper Midwest and is even allowing some ski areas in the lower Heartland to fire up and test the snowguns. It’s some of the earliest openings in 20 years.
Warmer temperatures that spread over the Heartland on Sunday have most closing midweek, but planning to reopen this weekend when more seasonal-like temperatures settle back across the area. A cold snap gathering in Canada is supposed to hit the area next week, according to long range weather forecasts, just in time for Thanksgiving.
Despite the hiccup in the weather pattern, it’s been one of the best starts to the ski season in 20 years, according to Boyne spokesperson Erin Ernst. Both Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands opened on Sunday. They are closing midweek and hope to reopen next weekend and for Thanksgiving.
Open this past weekend and planning to reopen next weekend: Granite Peak, Nordic Mountain, Christie Mountain and Sunburst in Wisconsin; Ski Brule, Nubs Nob, Caberfae Peaks and Marquette Mountain in Michigan; Hyland Hills, Afton Alps, Powder Ridge, Giants Ridge in Minnesota.
Lutsen Mountains and Spirit Mountain in Minnesota also plan on opening this next weekend. Lutsen is offering two day lift and lodging packages from $96 per person for opening weekend and free skiing and riding on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
For those that might want to get a start on race training for the coming snowsports season both Wild Mountain and Ski Brule are offering Thanksgiving race training programs. It’s the 27th year in a row for the Brule program, and there’s half price lodging on Wednesday when you stay four nights.